NBA history of major trade deadline deals from 1999-2012

Kenneth Faried and Josh Smith could be part of a theoretical swap, but no thanks. - Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

During the 1995-96 NHL season the Colorado Avalanche swung a franchise altering deal for the greatest NHL goalie of all-time in Patrick Roy. The Avs (or as they were known the season before: the Quebec Nordiques) were coming off a very promising season where they finished in first place in their conference (30-13-5) and they were enjoying a fine campaign before they swung the deal for Roy, but it was that deal that put the team over the top.

The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in Roy's first season with the team in 1996. It was that deal that propelled the Avs all the way to the Cup.

The Nuggets are coming off a promising 2012 post-season and they are enjoying a fine 2012-13 campaign at 32-18. Could one trade propel the Nuggets to an NBA title? What does history have to say about NBA trade deadline deals putting teams over the top? Let's take a look ...

Season NBA Champion Runner Up
1998-99 San Antonio Spurs New York Knicks
No moves No moves
1999-00 LA Lakers Indiana Pacers
No moves No moves
2000-01 LA Lakers Philadelphia 76ers
No moves Dikembe Mutombo
2001-02 LA Lakers New Jersey Nets
No moves No moves
2002-03 San Antonio Spurs New Jersey Nets
No moves No moves
2003-04 Detroit Pistons LA Lakers
Rasheed Wallace No moves
2004-05 San Antonio Spurs Detroit Pistons
Nazr Mohammed Carlos Arroyo
2005-06 Miami Heat Dallas Mavericks
No moves No moves
2006-07 San Antonio Spurs Cleveland Cavaliers
No moves No moves
2007-08 Boston Celtics LA Lakers
No moves Pau Gasol
2008-09 LA Lakers Orlando Magic
No moves Rafer Alston
2009-10 LA Lakers Boston Celtics
No moves No moves
2010-11 Dallas Mavericks Miami Heat
No moves No moves
2011-12 Miami Heat OKC Thunder
No moves No moves

So, if we're scoring at home that's six out of 28 teams making a deal at the trade deadline for a rotational player. But we're looking at major moves, so let's take Nazr Mohammed of the Spurs, Carlos Arroyo of the Piston, and Rafer Alston of the Magic out of the equation.

Dikembe Mutombo of the 76ers, Rasheed Wallace of the Pistons, and Pau Gasol would qualify as major roster moves that changed the way their teams played once they came aboard (both in wins and losses and in styles, too). Just three out of 28 teams made major moves over the past 14 seasons at the NBA trade deadline to propel them to the NBA Finals and only one of those teams won the whole thing (the 2004 Pistons).

And before we start claiming that the Nuggets can be the 2004 Pistons - let's consider how Detroit was able to acquire Wallace.

Pistons received: Celtics received: Hawks received:
Rasheed Wallace Chucky Atkins Zeljko Rebraca
Mike James (from C's) Lindsey Hunter Bob Sura
2004 1st (Toney Allen) Chris Mills (from C's)
2004 1st (Josh Smith)

The Pistons traded four players and two first-round draft picks in that deal that both happened to be in the 2004 draft (acquired one in another trade). Atkins, Sura, and Hunter were all a part of the Pistons main rotation that season. Crazy part, the Celtics cut Hunter and later in the season he re-signed with Detroit.

Would the Nuggets giving up three of the following main rotation players have an adverse on the team, no matter who could be acquired this season? The list: Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos, Andre Miller, Corey Brewer, Wilson Chandler, and JaVale McGee.

It would be easy to say that a team would take: Miller, Koufos, and Brewer. But more realistically the Nuggets would have to give up Gallo or Chandler and Faried or McGee for starters. And as we can see from above, just swinging a deal doesn't really mean that the Nuggets will be vaulted, this season, to the NBA Finals.

This is why I have discussed on the Colorado Sports Guys podcast that the Nuggets have a better shot at the Finals by standing pat than they do by making a trade. Plus, this Nuggets squad is a lot of fun to watch, the growth this season has been noticeable, and I believe there is still room for this group to grow.

Nate_Timmons on Twitter
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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